Indonesia police and military officers shot and killed six suspected militants and arrested one after the group fled into the woods following a traffic stop Saturday in Tuban regency, East Java province, officials told BenarNews.
East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said the shootout occurred around 4:10 p.m. after the joint force surrounded the suspected militants who were hiding in the woods near a cornfield. Hours earlier, the suspects fired four shots at officers who approached their car at a traffic stop.
“None of the police and military joint force members, nor residents were injured. We are grateful to the community for obeying the officers for not watching the shootout,” Barung said.
“The identity of those who were killed and captured cannot be released in detail. Those killed will be identified by a forensic laboratory team,” Barung told BenarNews, adding he believes they are suspected terrorists.
East Java Police Chief Machfud Arifin said the suspects are linked to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). The shootout occurred a day after police arrested three suspected militants linked to JAD who allegedly planned an attack of an East Java police station.
Officials said as two traffic police officers approached a car stopped near their post, passengers fired four shots.
“The shots missed the two police,” a police source who requested anonymity told BenarNews, adding the shooting occurred about 10 a.m.
Tuban police deployed personnel assisted by military members to pursue the gunmen who left the car and fled into the woods.
Barung said about 400 police, Densus 88 elite counter terrorist squad members and military officers pursued the suspects.
Tuban Police Chief Fadli Samad told BenarNews police found evidence in the suspects’ car including a passport, four cell phones, a two-way radio, a box of bullets and two backpacks loaded with bullets.
“All evidence is secured by police,” Fadli said.
Prior to Saturday’s shootout, Densus 88 and police had killed at least six suspects since December 2016. Additionally, at least two dozen suspected terrorists have been arrested in 2017.